Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Lies Ahead

I can see the cockroaches scampering across the linoleum kitchen floor just like it was yesterday.  Maddie hearing me scream in horror and running to my rescue.  Noticing the mammoth size bugs, she attempts to bite them before they escape behind the oven again, but she loses them.

It happened rather often so I became able to brush it off and walk into the kitchen anyway, looking for food I didn't have in the cabinets.  Open the refrigerator as well, hoping there was some takeout still fresh enough to eat.  Usually there was nothing.

So I either walked to Rita's water-ice down the street or to CVS to grab random snacks -- neither of these usual choices satisfied my hunger but they somehow satisfied my discontent with my living situation.

I had chosen this, though.  I lived with a boyfriend before this.  A boyfriend who was two years my junior but somehow made a killing at work and also had parents that were beyond gracious with sharing their wealth with him; with us. Sometimes after his mother visited, I would find $100 bills hidden in his bedside table or in the kitchen behind one of our knick-knacks; a reminder that she loved him.  Maybe that she loved us?  But I didn't.  I probably resented his ability to be financially awesome and I definitely grew jealous of his overly loving and present parents.  I also hated myself for being so ridiculously irresponsible with my money, usually unable to pay my half of the rent for our apartment.

As the smoke fumes of anger and frustration began circling my head on a daily basis, I decided to move out.  And live on my own.  Without him as my "crutch" I would have to force myself to be independent and financially stable.  That's what I told myself.

So I moved what I owned (which was very little at this point because he had convinced me to sell my couch and bed when we moved in together because he, and I, didn't forsee an ending at that point) into my new shitty apartment down the street and painted it green and blue.  I found couches on craigslist.  I convinced him to allow me to keep the bed from our guest room.  I bought the TV he didn't want off of him and attempted to set up shop, or home, or whatever I thought I wanted at the time. 

There was one big issue at first--the smell of cats.  No doubt the previous renter owned about 12.

I'm a dog person.  Cats instantly make me want to grab my purse and my coat and run for the nearest door.  I feel that they're always this close to gouging your eyes out or hissing until you cry.  I've never allowed one to get close enough to me to prove me wrong.

So, I went mad with home deodorizers.  I shampooed the rugs. It took a while but I finally felt subtly content with the smell of the place after about a month. 

It began to feel like home.

Until I realized that loneliness was annoying and heavy.  Physically being alone was terrifying.  I felt desperate and pathetic.  I began spending money to make me feel happy.  But happiness was fleeting. 

And then the cockroaches arrived.

At first I was convinced there was just one.  And I killed it!  I felt victorious and strong for a few days.

Then two or three arrived at a time and always escaped right before my sneaker smacked the kitchen floor with a murderous power.

----to be continued

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Civil Wars currently rock my world.

This song is so sweet, I want to pinch its cheeks. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

realistic drama.

I've thought about you so much lately.

Words.

Freedom.

Set me free.

All of that. 

I have so much to say and yet nothing at all at the same time. 

I'm again in a place of change.  Growth. 

Struggle.

I thought to myself today, "is this what I'm all about?  Is life for me this great big struggle, this holding on and letting go and trekking up the rocky mountain, sweat and tears, oh tears, yes, tears.  And all for those moments, those days, maybe weeks -- never longer -- where I feel okay with me?"

Does anyone on this earth feel completely at ease, themselves, thick-skinned and warm, for longer than a breath of time?

I have this pattern, you see.  A pattern that I've written about, joked about, talked about, analyzed, rolled around with therapist after therapist...

A pattern of self-destruction.  Of staying even when I want to leave.  Or convincing myself that it's just not good enough.  I'm not good enough.  Everything is just, so, incredibly, fucked up.


When in reality, there's beauty in the imperfect.  I just have a hard time seeing it. 

I'm still learning to stand on my own two feet and not reaching for the nearest shiny, sparkly, thing.  (That usually disguises itself in another emotional entanglement with a boy, or someone in my family that I can focus on "improving".  Let me roll my sleeves up and work nice and hard on you.)

I'm 27.  I live at home.  I still can't save money.  I still can't stay single for long.  I still can't wake up early for a consistent amount of time.  I still can't face all the fears my therapist puts in front of me.  I still can't finish my sobriety steps.   And here I am wondering why my therapist asked me if I think I'm depressed?

I'm not depressed.

This is the pattern -- this is it.

I feed myself negative thoughts.  I eat them down so quick, I don't even realize I have a choice.

Not to listen.  Not to take them in.

To tell them to stop.

I am more than what I allow myself to think.

I don't need a man.  I don't need more sleep.  I don't need to place expectations on myself that are impossible to reach.

I can just be.

Free.

I have all the tools I need.

It's all about the decision.

The jump off.

The voice that I keep forgetting to listen to.

That says "you're alright, kid.  Really, you are."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Return of the whacky one

Hi blog!  How are you?  I think about you often, usually when I'm driving.  A certain sentence or thought will arrive in my mind, and I'll get excited at the prospect of being able to knock out a nice blog post after work that night.  But the trouble is, I never write it down after it comes to me.  So -- sadly -- as quickly as the idea comes it leaves, because the rest of the day takes over and I've forgotten about the creative spark.

I'm in the car very often now.  My job requires me to cover a certain territory of PA, and visit at least eight dermatologists a day, selling them the advantages of my products over the competition.  I really do enjoy it.  Everyday is different and new in the following wonderful ways: I'm in front of a different customer every day, I have to find creative new ways to start a conversation, I have to wear stylish suits and dresses (which makes me feel very womanly and pretty but also drains my bank account that I'm trying to open up a savings account from), and last but not least -- I have to make myself the center of attention each time I'm in there.  My job requires me to be a presence in the office, a memorable part of the doctor's/office staff's day.  Yes, I was meant for this.  I am the oldest child of four and I come from a family of Type A personalities.  I know how to demand the floor.

It's competitive too which keeps me focused!  We all claim to suffer from adult ADD and I'm no stranger to that self-proclamation.

I wait up every Wednesday night for my sales numbers, comparing them to my fellow reps, especially the ones who began when I did.  I analyze every single doctor I remember having great conversations with.  When they aren't prescribing the way I hoped they would, I yell out a "c'mon doc!  What's your problem?"  But then it turns into, "now you've asked for it...if you think I was aggressive last time, you ain't seen nothing yet!"  My family laughs seeing me this way.  It's just fun.  I like it.

I just feel like I want to end the post here.  There's so much more to say but there's also laundry that needs to be finished, a car that needs to be vacuumed (I LOVE doing this chore for some reason) and a late lunch to be had.  I'm also worried that I hate my new facebook profile picture.

Should I remove it?  Gosh, such a HUGE decision.  What in the world shall I do?  (HE HE HA HA)

Peace love and acrylic nails (I wear those now too),

A.B.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

you know how i feel

Dear You,

It seems you've finally caught yourself a break.  Don't let your scared side take over and ruin a good thing.  You've got an opportunity in front of you that you didn't think you were worthy of.  Maybe, just maybe, you are.  Don't be a perfectionist; at first you may need a little work.  After all, you know little to nothing about the world you're breaking into.  Be patient with yourself and remember that good things come to those who wait. If you keep doing that next right thing you can't go wrong.  Show up for life and the impossible may become possible.  Up until now you've worried that you ruined your chances at this sort of thing because of your disheveled past.  You were wrong.  What you were is not what you are.  Maybe one day the negative thoughts will finally completely dissipate so that you can be that best version of yourself more often.  Take each day and use it as an opportunity to face your fears and get creative.  You're good at that remember?  What you're doing isn't rocket science; it isn't even something you've really aspired to do; but guess what?  It's something that you're naturally good at (or so they say): it gives you the chance to communicate, to be heard, to be challenged...and to drive around in a car you don't pay for.  Being a self-employed novelist doesn't come with a perk like that.  And hey, you never know, you could find great writing material in the characters you meet each day. 

The world is your oyster. 

To others, a new chapter like this may not mean this much.  But that's their loss.  Every new opportunity in your life is a blessing and a half. 

Most of all --- don't f*ck this up or I'll kick your ass b*tch.

Love you more than you let yourself believe,

You



* my pre-interview jam

Friday, July 1, 2011

Where are you?



















And so you went
To the place we don't know
Though we pretend to

We write it down
And say we've been there in our dreams
And say we're trying to get there with our good deeds

But we don't know
The way it feels to be
In between a memory

Perhaps you're watching
A telescope graces your weightless hands
You watch her cry for you in the morning
Subconsciously waiting for your morning call
That won't come
Or sigh for you at night
Missing your sweet dream wishes

I will try
Although I know I will not be much
I'm much too selfish to remember
To call her
When she's waiting for you

Thursday, June 30, 2011

some other beginning's end.






















I don't know, I guess I just wish I could write as well as John Irving.  If someone happens to be mulling over the perfect gift to give me just because I'm pretty, I will provide a suggestion:  every novel John Irving has ever written (minus The Cider House Rules because by George, I've got it).  I used to own three others but they've been lost in the madness.

Oh, and I just finished The Hotel New Hampshire.  So don't buy me that one either.

Can I provide you with a quote that epitomizes the beauty of this ridiculously unrealistic yet so there book?  No.  Because it's not like that.  It's not direct.  It's the entire story -- the whole freaking thing -- the intricate nuances of each character, the obsessive attention to detail. Ah yes, I can pull a quote after all!

  "You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed." 

How many times have I become obsessed but couldn't stay? 

Just recently, however, I put my all into a really intense work presentation.  I sacrificed my body for this work of art, spending about 16 hours on it within two days.  My lower back aches, my neck is threatening to send me to the chiropractor again and my hands are sore enough to affect my tennis game (sending me reeling into a sea of expletive-filled tantrums last night at the courts).  But who gives a shit right?  I very rarely feel useful at work and I needed this to keep me just getting by there. 

My great aunt Zi-Zi died last week.  My great aunt was my grandmother's best friend.  And my grandmother and I have a sort of closeness that fits into the space reserved for the love of mother and daughter.  And since my mother and I haven't been able to get there yet (I'm saying yet now because I've decided that since I'm moving home in a month I should try to be optimistic about her) what my Mom-Mom and I share far surpasses where my mother and I stand.  The woman is blind but graceful.  She is the type of woman who makes you feel like she's been sitting on the edge of her seat anticipating your arrival with an excitement usually reserved for those who win the lottery when you walk in the house. 

And her best friend died.  And I cried for the loss of Zi-Zi and I cried for my Mom-Mom's heart breaking.  But we all celebrated Zi-Zi's life and grieved her death together as a family and even though this may sound selfish, it felt like a little victory to me.  I become instantly terrified when tragedy strikes, fearing that I will return from it losing the ability to smile ever again.  It's very selfish really.  Why did you die?  Didn't you know I have a hard time coming back from sadness?  You should think before you go and do something like that.  I cried and I grieved that day with one of B's large, warm hands wrapped in mine and the other stroking my back.  But I also smiled and made Mom-Mom laugh too.

Healing happens when it wants to.  I read John Irving's novel with a certain tinge in my heart as he described parts of my life.  And I felt the pain and the nervousness that revolve around those parts.  I realized I hadn't yet fully healed.  But I didn't pick at it to try to make it go away quicker.

I let it live without trying to control it.
And here I sit now, emptying myself of the words and picking the scab on my cheek to make it heal faster. 

Damnit.  Didn't I just say I learned that healing happens in its own time?  Do as I say, not as I do.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Learning when to zip it.

You pay a price when you decide to divulge the details of your very personal life on a public forum.  I have hesitated more than a few times before pressing "publish post" after writing descriptive details of what's going on in my heart and head.  Believe it or not, I have many unpublished drafts that have been seen only by my eyes and I believe they'll stay that way.

I've even posted things only to run back to the computer an hour or so later to remove what I've written.  I think there's a balance in divulging your personal affairs.  I've yet to master it.

In the grand scheme of things, only 26 people subscribe to this blog of mine and I am pretty sure only about 12 people read regularly.  It's really NOT that big of a deal that I'm revealing my shit to y'all because I'm not going to be published in People Magazine or featured on an E! News broadcast.

I'm not that popular, thank God.

But I sometimes struggle with wondering how much I want my circle to know about my love life.  I struggle because for onee, I think it's unfair to my significant other.  He doesn't read what I write and he's reminded me that he doesn't want to read it because he doesn't want to influence my writing.  I completely and utterly respect and love him for that.

However, those who read my blog and see what I say about the details of our relationship are able to paint their own picture of this man sometimes without even meeting him.  Not to mention the fact that some of my writing is a bit fictitious.  I write things a certain way or describe details a certain way to strengthen my writing.  The best writing comes from personal experience and then I build off of that.  And I think I've done B an injustice. 

I am not downplaying the reality that our relationship hasn't been beautifully smoothsailing.  There have been very powerful waves.  But then again, would I like a relationship without passion?  The challenge and the boldness of this relationship has allowed both of us to put cards on the table that I'm so glad we've put there before we decided to live together or get married. 

What I'm trying to say is this: I think I'm going to refrain from committing the details of my very personal relationship to this blog from now on.

And a much as I love the relationships I have with certain family members, I find myself more confused than anything after speaking to too many others about what we've got going on.  I feel like my family is asking for updates on us because I'm the oldest and I'm at the "marriage" age.  They want to have a family wedding and so do I!  I just think it should be Thumber (number two in line) that should be pestered from now on.  She's much closer to that type of commitment in my opinion. 

There's all this pressure.  Seriously, there is.  I see my close friends getting married, I see Facebook updates informing me of yet another engagement, and then I  begin to compare my relationship to these relationships.  Should I be engaged by now?  Am I with the right man?  Are we marriage material?  Is he ready?  Will he ever be ready?  Does he love me enough?  Do I love him enough?  Blah, f'ing blah.

I begin to get way too ahead of myself and it's unbelievable to me that I've become this type of girl.

To ease my anxiety over this stuff, I ask others to weigh in on the ins and outs of my relationship.  Mistake.

On top of all my unnecessary questions, I have their unnecessary answers.

I have no idea what my future holds relationship wise, career wise, etc.

I do know that I'm ready to try to become a bit more private.

I love this man more than I can put into words.

And it takes a lot to make me speechless.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011







I had imagined how this would transpire many times on the way to his house after work recently but always ended up with a fake smile and a kiss on his cheek when I reached his door.  

Until today.

It had become very difficult for me not to feel child-like in his presence, waiting for him to tell me what I had done wrong.  Whether it was the fact that I left water on the floor in the bathroom after a shower or that I didn't walk my dog for what he deemed as a sufficient amount of time, I simply wasn't doing life right.

He had picked up on the fact that I was someone perpetually jammed into 5th gear we began dating a year ago, and he noted it, but it wasn't until this week that he sent me a picture text of a box of cereal that I had ripped open, leaving the perforated tabs to fend for themselves, no longer able to interlock because of my carelessness.  Yes, I agree that it must have been annoying for him to see that I was in such a state of rush that I didn't have time to open a cereal box correctly, but it was just as annoying to come home from a long day at work to his lesson of the day.

Wasn't the man I was meant to be with supposed to laugh at this maniacal aspect of my life, knowing full well that I had a lot on my plate?  


I sent him a text as I waited for the light outside his neighborhood to turn green that said, "this is not how I'm built." He's not a woman so he didn't pick up on the fact that this line was stolen from Jerry Maguire, as Dorothy explains to Jerry that she knows he's not actually in love with her and she can't continue to pretend their marriage is real.  She admits she's fallen in love with the idea of the relationship more than the relationshp itself. 

I often wonder if he knows what love is.  He admits he has never heard of unconditional love until I came along and explained the term, secretly hoping he would get the hint.  Unconditional; accepting of flaws; understanding of mistakes; love knowing no bounds.

When my doorman called me last night to tell me a package had arrived for me, I knew it was from him. I ran to the elevator hoping he had returned my glasses.  Did I also hope that there was at least a Dear John letter explaining that he did love me more than any other woman he's ever been with, did think I was amazing, did try, wished me the best and would never forget me?  Perhaps.  Did I simultaneously play a scene in my mind of me exiting the elevator to him standing there, tall and handsome as ever, smug smile slightly hidden by his beard, awaiting an embrace from me?  Maybe.

What I got was a bag of junk.  An old rusted razor that I had left in his shower, an empty box of dog treats that I had bought for his terribly neurotic dog (the apple does not fall far from the tree?), a few of my t-shirts, my glasses and the tiny pebble I had given him after a walk, just for fun.

Without words, he had said too much.

My first reaction was--excuse my french--a giant "fuck you, you fucking awful fucking fucked up asshole!"

However, a wave of calm - a gift from my inner self perhaps - came over me, buying me time to compose myself.  I shed only about three and a half tears, laid in the foyer of my apartment with the bag of shit next to me and realized that this could not go on. 

His lovely parting gift may have been his way of baiting me to react.  He may have wanted me to break the silence and berate him with texts and calls and tears and screams and "fuck you's", and I will not lie -- you're damn right I thought about shipping the running shoes he got me that I don't like to his front door. I thought of driving to his house in the middle of the night to "decorate" the lobby of his apartment with aggressively ripped open cereal boxes.  I even thought about cutting up the blanket he left in my car and decorating his car with the pieces.  However, the fact that his deceased mother gave him the blanket stopped me dead in my tracks.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Playing catch up.

I have been putting off writing this post because every time I felt the urge to write about my life, something else happened!  It has been an eventful month, full of ups and downs and this ways and that ways.  For instance:

  1. My best friend from high school got married to her high school sweetheart. 
  2. I got the worst haircut of all time.  
  3. I had an emotional breakdown over it.
  4. I was a bridesmaid.  
  5. With a men's crew cut.
  6. I - again - had an emotional breakdown over it.  
  7. So did my Mother.
  8. I got extensions.
  9. No, I will not elaborate.
  10. My brother graduated from college.  
  11. The family (including myself) trekked up to northern New York to celebrate with him. 
  12. I almost died while I was there. 
  13. I went to the dentist.  This is a big deal.  
  14. So did my Mother.  This is an even bigger deal.
  15. Oh my goodness, I almost forgot:  I celebrated four years of sobriety. 


Instead of relaying every nook and cranny of the above fifteen points, I've decided that I will post photos that I've taken during these events.   We'll see if I can have enough self control to keep this post concise and to the point allowing the photos to speak for themselves (other than my captions).


{Christine looks at herself for the first time in her wedding dress on her wedding day}

{The watermelon bridesmaids before the ceremony}

{Yes, my friends, those bangs are in fact extensions.  They hurt.  Pain is beauty?} 

{Sisters with the soon-to-be graduate.  This was before we owned the dance floor.}

{Basically my only calm moment whilst staying at the lake house during brother's graduation weekend in NY.  There were cats there.  I'm severely allergic to cats.  I may or may not have contemplated jumping into the lake never to be seen again, but decided it was probably too cold.}

{A wonderfully poignant quote found in ELLE magazine while waiting for the dentist.}

{It's important that I give a little face time to my cup of coconut milk Capogiro.  I can't explain why.}

{To Thine Own Self Be True.  Four years of living proof.}

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Part Two

Okay, okay, okay...I have to confess.

The below song by Tegan & Sarah was discovered on a CD I found in my lover's car, given to him by his EX.  I wish I didn't automatically want to break it in half when I first found the disc with cute, fat bubbly handwriting on it, but I did.

Instead I popped it in his CD player and discovered that she has good music taste.  I guess I feel the need to give credit where credit's due so...thanks Shannon.

my window looks into your living room.



Well kids, I'm extremely sick.  I was correct in feeling weird about how raw and sore my throat was last night.  It kept me up until 5 AM this morning and then chills and sweats followed, along with a headache and sinus congestion.  I wasn't able to go to work today which makes me really angry, as I am so sick of repeatedly feeling like death.  I used to think I had the most kick-ass immune system but this year it's failing me miserably.

Anyway, the above song by Tegan and Sarah rocks and listening to it gives this downtrodden sicky just a little bit of needed energy to keep on truckin'.

Monday, April 25, 2011

i want you to want me.


















Today it was indeed sunny in Philadelphia.  The temperature hung out around the low 80s, the sky was robin's egg blue and everyone was out and about.

I began experiencing what shall forever be known as THE WORST ALLERGY ATTACK OF MY LIFE and had to stay inside after work until it was dark out because I think I heard once that the air isn't as filled with allergens at night time.

What's weird about this attack is that my throat is still aching and dry and itchy and feels like what I remember strep throat feeling like.

When I finally emerged from my apartment at around 8 PM, I brought my dog (naturally).  We took a walk to CVS where I had to tie her up outside while I ran in to buy my SECOND bottle of allergy medicine because--let's be serious--the medicine I have been using is DEFINITELY not working.  She hates when I do this; leave her outside alone while I meddle around in a store for a few minutes.  Half of me feels like a bad mother but the other "I need you to need me" half feels nicely surprised knowing that she loves being with me.  I don't think that makes me a bad person.

After I purchased my meds and untied my pooch from what I think was the rain-gutter-pipe-thing (I just realized I never consciously stopped to think that commercial buildings, like homes, need rain gutters too!) we stopped at a coffee place where I tied her up again and ran in to get an ice-cold, organic smoothie called the "Peanut butter and Jelly" smoothie.  It did taste very much like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if the sandwich were to be chilled and without the bread.  It soothed my allergen-wrecked throat.  I had a nice conversation with the barista man who came outside after I went outside to drink my smoothie with the dog on my lap and me in a plastic chair.  Barista lived in Seattle for a while but is now living with his parents in Wilmington, Delaware until he moves back to Philly in June.  I could not and cannot believe he drives all the way to this freaking obsessively organic coffee shop to work everyday.  He said sometimes he has to open in the morning and that means being at the shop at 5:30 AM...to make COFFEE...really??

I ran into a newish friend of mine outside this coffee shop too.  She stopped to tell me that her ex-boyfriend that I know, but that I didn't know was her ex-boyfriend (got me?) said I was pretty and he's not the type to give any positive commentary on anyone and she even said that and that made me feel like I could have an extra pep in my step on the walk home.  So WHAT.

Now I am going to shower and put on a pair of boy short underwear and a tank top and sleep in just that because guess what?  It's finally that time of year.

P.S.  I usually think that sneezing is like, God showing me a glimpse of what heaven feels like, because it just feels THAT GOOD.  But not today.  I mean, when the rapid fire sneezing bouts occur, I don't avoid them by looking straight at the sun or anything, but they're taking so much out of me and they're irritating the throat and they're not giving me any RELIEF.

GOOD GRIEF.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Sunday Soliloquy


























I'm currently sewing.  No really, I am.

There are a few items of clothing that I would love to wear on the regular but cannot because they've got annoying little holes in them.  Today I wore my melon colored GAP cardigan with the hole because I was just visiting my family and I don't care about impressing them with hole-less clothing.  However, I enjoyed wearing my melon number so much that I went to CVS and bought a travel-size sewing kit. Here I am, stitching away.  Melon cardigan is now hole-free and I've moved on to my favorite SoLow yoga pants with a giant hole in the crotch.  Can't wait to wear these again.  I must admit, they make my butt look fantastic.

Easter dinner with the family today left me with a lot on my mind regarding my sick grandfather. But, it's Sunday night and Sunday nights are like, the worst, even after getting sober and not suffering from withdrawal and hangovers.  Looking ahead at the work week seems daunting and ominous.

In other words, it's not the correct day of the week to be getting into sad stuff regarding my wonderful Gramps and his dwindling quality of life.  Gosh, I want to snap my fingers and go back to the way we were before his health began declining last year.  I looked at the sunroom on the back of their home today and it dawned on me that just about eight years ago, my Gramps built the entire room with his own two hands.  A hard-working and brilliant blue-colored man my Gramps is.  A fine human being.  I will tell you that throughout my entire life, he has not once done anything to hurt me.  I have never once been upset with him.  I have never felt anything but complete and utter love and support from him and I want nothing more than to see him feel better.

Oh, see, look at me.  I couldn't contain myself.  A little emotion spilled out.

Happy Easter Sunday to all; especially my lovely Gramps, pictured above.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ya feel me?


















What do I have to say tonight?  I'm not sure, although I just jotted down a bunch of thoughts into a journal.  I don't want to share those though, as they're not even thoughts I want to admit to anyone but myself in fear of someone saying, "that's just dumb and you know it."

I'm home alone tonight at the apartment.  The roommate has strep throat and is at her parents' home nursing herself back to health.  I am currently in the middle of a small allergy attack.  This means I am sneezing repeatedly, nose feels stuffy and ridiculously itchy and my eyes are begging me to scratch them, but I'm trying to resist doing it because that's like a never-ending story.  The euphoria I feel after scratching my eyes keeps me doing it all night if I begin.  Nope, I ain't doin' it tonight, y'all.

Maddie is eating her dinner and I find it so endearing and adorable to watch her long floppy ears cover the bowl while her little snout attacks her food.  She's very systematic too.  She will pick a few pieces of food out of the bowl with her mouth and then drop them on the floor and eat them one by one.  This is fun to watch until I realize what a mess she makes because she doesn't eat all of the pieces that she places on the floor.  So, Mommy has to clean them up.

Oh!  She's now moved on to her water bowl and is frantically drinking.  For some reason, I always feel the need to say, "good girl, Maddie!" when she drinks.  I guess I sub-consciously worry that she neglects to drink enough water because, well, I don't know why I think that.  But, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I hear her lapping from her water bowl and beam with pride, thinking, "aw, she knows when she's thirsty!  How cute!"

Weird.

I'm trying to find a career lately.  Do you know what I mean by that?  Like, I've often written about different ideas I have for what I'd like to do or what I think I'd be good at but lately I'm going out on a limb and putting myself out there.  I was even semi-rejected by someone regarding a position I was looking into and felt as if I could not rest until I convinced this person to give me an in-person interview. They agreed.  I was shocked and proud of myself.  The confidence I gained in not giving up inspired me to speak to yet another person about another opportunity.  This person was completely open to the idea, and I felt so empowered.  I have to be gut honest here:  it's time for this girl to make some money.  I know this sounds weird and maybe not believable but I haven't been very motivated by money.  I have the opportunity to make a lot of overtime at my current job but over the past few months, I have felt no desire to do so.  I want to grab my shit and get outta' there as soon as the clock strikes five.  That's because my job isn't challenging, doesn't inspire me and I feel like I'm selling myself short.  In fact, I know I am.  Even though it would be so nice to have a few hundred more dollars in my bank account if I stayed and worked overtime, I find that I'm more motivated to get home and spend some quality time with my dog, or go to a meeting or get outside or do NOTHING.

And that doesn't sit well with me.

I know I'm capable of something more.

Now, I want to tell you that I realize that I speak often about the reality of today not being enough for me.  And, maybe I'm the type that seems like they're never satisfied.  So be it.  Maybe I'm at a point where I shouldn't be satisfied with certain realities of my life and maybe I should be thankful that after some time, I'm doing something about it.

For instance, the therapy I receive every week.  This is some intense stuff that has been extremely instrumental in helping me calm down for once in my life.  I'm glad that I was not satisfied with how nervous and uncomfortable I always was (and can be if I don't keep working on it).

And regarding my program...Thank God I finally realized it's time for the 4th step.  Although it's annoying me lately to realize how many daggers I've been wanting to throw at people all my life; daggers that have done nothing but harm me and my piece of mind.  Thank God I'm looking at them so that in the future, I can have more sustainable and healthy relationships.

And regarding my job...I fought my way through college despite extremely humiliating setbacks and I realized at the end of it that I had a brain.  A brain that worked rather well when inspired.  If I'm not inspired, and if I know I'm not putting my best foot forward, then thank God I'm looking to find something that makes me happy with who I am and where I'm going.  And let's be serious, thank God I'm finally realizing that I need to be financially stable just so that I can go to bed at night without calculating if I have enough money to eat until Thursday when I get paid next.  Really?  So over it.

So, this may make no sense to anyone but myself and that's okay.  Because thank God I'm at a point in my life where I realize that I don't care that much if people see me fall or see me worry or hear me talk about the stuff that's uncomfortable.  Because this is me.  And the good part about me is that I know that "this too shall pass," and I'll be right back on here spilling the details of how I got through the difficulties and landed on my own two feet.

photo from nirrimi

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4 peas in a pod.


People talk about the happy quiet that can exist between two loves, but this, too, was great; sitting between his sister and his brother, saying nothing, eating. Before the world existed, before it was populated, and before there were wars and jobs and colleges and movies and clothes and opinions and foreign travel -- before all of these things there had been only one person, Zora, and only one place: a tent in the living room made from chairs and bed-sheets. After a few years, Levi arrived; space was made for him; it was as if he had always been. Looking at them both now, Jerome found himself in their finger joints and neat conch ears, in their long legs and wild curls. He heard himself in their partial lisps caused by puffy tongues vibrating against slightly noticeable buckteeth. He did not consider if or how or why he loved them. They were just love: they were the first evidence he ever had of love, and they would be the last confirmation of love when everything else fell away.


— Zadie Smith, On Beauty


The following events reminded me of the above excerpt from one of my favorite books:
  1. Watching my youngest sister beam from ear-to-ear onstage during her 8th grade play while I watched from the audience, giving her tons of thumbs-up, beat-the-beat-up fist pumps and obnoxious rounds of applause 
  2. Having a predictable tiff with the 25-year old version of myself, also known as my other sister, 2 years my junior. 
  3. Another lovely in-depth phone conversation  with my little brother who's not so little.  In other words, he plays basketball for a Division 1 college and is graduating in like, 5 seconds.
I could read the above quote twenty times over (and have) without getting bored with it. I just think it's beautifully written. Without needing to say it, or even really show it, the definition of love lies in my relationships with my siblings.

then memories.


Laying on my bedroom floor felt like nothing.

Until my father opened the door and watched me in silence. I was unaware of his presence until I heard his voice.

“Honey, I think you’re depressed,” he whispered.

I strained my neck and eyes to look up at him as he towered over me. Statuesque.

No words came, so I allowed my neck muscles to release until I felt the plush carpet against my left cheek.

He turned around and walked out, closing the door quietly behind him.

I melted into the carpet for another three hours.

A midnight snack.


Just like I really enjoy the taste of orange juice if it's accompanied by a cheese omelette or my father's pancakes on Christmas morning, pairing certain music with certain activities makes my world a better place.

I'm currently writing and listening to Gregory Alan Isakov. I can't tell you how serene and fluid I feel at ten past midnight, after what can best be described as an annoyingly productive day. In other words, I had to work, run errands in the rain during my lunch break, get home in time to find a legal parking spot, then catch a cab to therapy in a downpour and endure another grueling session. I then had to force myself to keep my debit card in my wallet as I perused Urban Outfitters (yes, I check off the productive box if I can successfully window shop).

There's laundry to be done and sleep to be had but first there's writing and there's good music and there's enjoying these two hobbies that make me feel like me.
give me darkness when i’m dreaming
give me moonlight when i’m leaving
give me shoes that weren’t made for standing
give me tree-line, give me big sky, get me snow-bound, give me rain clouds, give me a bed time
 ...just sometimes
- Gregory Alan Isakov, 3 a.m.
There are more poignant lyrics where those came from. This Gregory fellow knows how to pour it out.

That sometimes bed time he speaks of is right about now for moi. Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Great Expectations.


Fill me with dandelions,
and daisies and rose.

Give me wet strawberries,
the sea at my toes.

Show me the sunlight,
warm winds and laughter.

Tell me this won't end,
we've reached ever after.

Shower me with lovin',
passionate, true.

All of these things,
give me, can you?

photo from nirrimi

Thursday, March 31, 2011

These foolish games.


Sometimes I pick my nose (with purpose, I might add) while I type at my desk. This is funny because my desk is right next to the window that looks out to five more windows of adjacent apartments to my left. I imagine someone spotting me from one of said windows and catching me in what they think is a private moment. As I type this, it's beginning to dawn on me that this is an instance of funny in my head...but not anywhere else.

Let me make it up to those reading this by sharing another playlist that speaks to me in a multitude of ways:

Angus & Julia Stone - "Draw Your Swords"
The Decemberists - "This is Why We Fight"
Mumford & Sons - "I Gave You All"
Van Morrison - "Astral Weeks"
The Avett Brothers - "Head Full of Doubt"
Citizen Cope - "Bullet and a Target"
KT Tunstall - "Through the Dark"
M. Ward - "Fuel for Fire"
My Morning Jacket - "Hopefully"
Gregory Alan Isakov - "3 a.m."
MGMT - "Kids"
Ben Harper - "In Your Eyes"
David Grey - "Say Hello Wave Goodbye"
Jethro Tull - "Wond'ring Aloud"
John Mayer - "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I promised myself I'd do this.


I am grateful for:
  • The bouquet of yellow gerbera daisies that are STILL alive and kickin' on my windowsill
  • The fact that I've taken care of them; changing their water, cutting their stems every few days just to prolong their existence
  • Looking at my cherry-red nails and realizing I actually sat down for long enough to paint them myself
  • Remembering that I messed up numerous nails during the painting process and did not give up; but simply put nail polish remover to good use and started again
  • The research I've done on a new career path
  • The fact that it's a career that doesn't even require a college degree and the fact that this doesn't bother me
  • Because I might be at the point where I can say, "I don't care what others think. I want to be happy with myself"
  • Maybe I'm still a little scared to switch gears but I am working through it
  • The women I've allowed myself to become friends with lately
  • Women that are sober and fun and full of life and have something I want
  • Freedom to be themselves
  • The dream I had last night; a recurring dream
  • About the man I just broke up with
  • In the dream we are fighting. Well, I'm picking a fight with him
  • Pleading for him to see how his behavior affects me
  • And he's standing his ground, ignoring me, moving away from me
  • And it's heartbreaking
  • But when I wake up, I do not call him or reach out to him
  • Because I know I can't
  • Because it's really over
  • And for once I want to let sleeping dogs lie
  • And let it go
  • Can I?
  • "I'll Back You Up" by Dave Matthews kind of sums it up
  • And I'm so freaking happy about music
  • And what it does to me
  • The bag of clothes I finally removed from my car
  • Progress!
  • My dog
  • Obviously
  • She's just, the most beautiful, neurotic, furry little poodle I've ever met
  • Ah, love
  • Remember my post last week about my obsession with emotional, love-filled entanglements?
  • Thank God I was honest about that
  • Thank whatever that thing was that inspired me to write it all down
  • So that I'm aware of it
  • As I see that I'm leaning again towards an entanglement that has been present in my life for years and years
  • And I'm being honest about it
  • But for once, I'm not jumping in
  • Because I'm enjoying myself a bit
  • I do have to work on my issue with time-management
  • This head that buzzes like a bee
  • Gets so caught up in thinking
  • Rather than doing
  • And it's counter-productive
  • But, we're all human
  • We all have issues
  • My grandfather, Shwartz
  • And my faith in something
  • That I prayed to
  • To help him today
  • His first day of chemotherapy
  • So awful
  • But, I feel like if I send positive vibes his way
  • It just might help
  • Rather than wallowing, something I'm very accustomed to doing
  • Again, counter-productive
  • My 4th step
  • That I've just begun
  • It feels good
  • To get here
  • Those moments where I feel here
  • In the moment
  • I'm happy about those
  • And the run I went on this weekend
  • That reeked havoc on my lungs because of the powerful winds
  • It still made me happy
  • To get out there
  • As freaking painful as it was
  • My Saturday night
  • It was so fun
  • I haven't laughed that hard in a while
  • And I needed it
  • And I realized
  • I looked pretty
  • Don't you love those nights?
  • Where you can actually say,
  • "I feel good,"
  • Inside and out
  • Ah, life
  • Full of twists and unpredictable turns
  • I want to love you
  • No matter what you do to me

Friday, March 25, 2011

frank sinatra sounds so calm when he sings, "i've got you under my skin," when the reality of it is being this irked is anything but placid.

Let's take a break from our regularly scheduled programming and pay homage to those people in our lives with the uncanny ability to get under our skin. Even more, let's also congratulate them for putting us under a spell that tells us, "it may be different this time." I have two responses to that crock of sh*t delusion:
  1. Chances are it won't. Just like the program teaches me that the same person will drink again (reinforcing the idea that to stay sober, we must be willing to change) the same two people with the same two issues will fight again. 'Na mean?
  2. The last time I fed myself the "this time it's different line" was in regard to alcohol. I then fed myself 20 more beers, blacked out and found myself admitting I was powerless over alcohol.
I am powerless over others. I cannot control the outcome. What I can control is my decision-making.

In my life, those who mean the most to me also have the ability to break my heart. Caring about others is a double-edged sword. Caring about myself is apparently where it's at.

I'm so on a roll here with these bitchy rants and I'm lovin' it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

raw.


In therapy last night, I - or should I say we - came to the conclusion that I feel like I’m nothing, invincible, without feeling, without passion, without purpose, unless I’m in love. It’s like love is what gives me color. Without it, I am a translucentish grey that people walk through and over and under and in between. With it, I am full of mass and body and I’m plush and you can push my skin and feel that there are things going on under it, like a beating heart and flesh and blood and veins and everything that makes up a real live human! I’m saying “love” now, but last night we labeled it as “a relationship.” So, you can go back and replace all the times I’ve said the word “love” with the words “a relationship” and I’m basically making the same point BECAUSE I would never sustain a relationship without falling in love first. Period.

Writer's Interjectory Note: I cannot, for the life of me, believe I am admitting this. I have worked so hard to convince others that I am just the opposite.
Today, I hate this conclusion. It overwhelms me. I go to AA for my alcoholism. I am actually in therapy because I am coping with another disorder and NOW I’m contemplating going to CA (codependence anonymous) to learn how to let go of my obsession with other people defining me. I ask myself, “what the f*ck happened to me during childhood that produced this maniacal human being?” And I don’t have an answer, ya know?
Because it wasn’t just my shaky foundation that contributed to my issues, nor was it all the bizarre sh*t that followed during my adolescence and now early adulthood. I was obviously born with tendencies, and instincts and brain cells that help me lean towards feeling and thinking my way to worthlessness. And at the nice, ripe age of 27, I’m now learning that I have to DEAL with all of this.
Sometimes I worry that I’m like, way too obsessed with getting BETTER, being BETTER, changing these ISSUES, that I miss all the good stuff about my life that might just naturally make me FEEL BETTER without having to dish out $85 a week to yap to my therapist. And, I mean, I love AA, it’s helped me stay away from booze for almost 4 years now but even THAT pisses me off lately because I think to myself, “maybe I could let myself just BE more if I wasn’t always in ‘check your motives, your selfishness, your unmanageability' mode that the program instills in us. And yes, yes, yes, the program has absolutely, no doubt about it, ASSISTED me in lightening up and seeing the GOOD in life, but I’m sick of analyzing it all. I just want it all to stop.
My last thought (which was actually my first thought before I began typing) is that I am a freaking walking contradiction. I opened this lovely rant by revealing my shot to shit self worth issues, yet I have about 300 self portrait photos of myself on my Mac’s PhotoBooth application. If one (other than myself and actually including myself) were to look at these photos, they would say that I’m OBSESSED with myself, think I’m AMAZING, am completely NARCISSISTIC. And, well, perhaps I am.
But I learned recently that being obsessed with one's self doesn’t necessarily mean that one thinks they are the hottest thing since sliced bread. Perhaps I’m obsessed with finding the beauty in me, with looking at myself to find the truth, the hidden jewel that will push all this self-doubt away, with trying to find that “gorgeous face” that others tell me I have. And maybe I’ll keep taking pictures until I find it.
Except, I've been told that I'll never find it this way. It comes from within, right? But...HOW?
Disclaimer: This is the most honest I've been EVER on this public forum and I almost don't want to be, but I'm doing it anyway. Mostly because I know I'm not the only woman who struggles with this sh*t and I'm sick of us all blowing smoke up each other's asses, pretending we're all fine and dandy, waiting for the ring to be placed on our finger just so we can say, "phew, I don't have to do any work on myself anymore because I have someone who's stuck with me forever."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

the beauty of bullet points


It's like, beyond pertinent that I focus on the good stuff right now. For instance:
  • the cold spring water I'm drinking right now with 2 slices of lemon
  • the plush white Ralph Lauren robe I'm wearing
  • gifted to me by my mother
  • my mother's recent efforts to be more involved in my life
  • my dog's coat at the length it is right now: not too short
  • and not too long
  • just furry enough
  • the fact that I actually tried to make a salad today
  • the fact that I ate most of it despite it being an epic FAIL
  • due to the fact that I didn't dry the tuna out enough
  • causing the entire thing to be a big, sloppy, wet mess
  • side note: how gross is that description?
  • the Amy's organic pizza currently cooking in the oven
  • and the smell of it, duh
  • the gerbera daisies sitting next to my desk
  • on the windowsill
  • given to me by my Whole Foods cashier today
  • after I decided to enlighten her
  • with the details of my current life situation
  • her only response was,
  • "shhh" as she placed a bouquet of yellow beauty
  • in my shopping bag
  • I mean, I did wonder for a second if she was hitting on me
  • but then decided it didn't matter either way
  • because there are nice people in the world
  • sensitive people
  • yes, I am grateful for sensitive people
  • like my father today
  • his call meant the world to me
  • despite the fact that he had to rescue me
  • from my self-imposed darkness
  • like a ice-cream scooper to a gallon of Ben n' Jerry's
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice-cream
  • I cannot wait until I can once again devour a pint of it
  • only 30 some days to go
  • I gave up chocolate for Lent
  • and I love chocolate
  • but kind of like, unhealthily love
  • oops, no negativity in this post!
  • my love for chocolate is fine and dandy
  • yes, yes it is
  • the fact that I'm learning to let myself be
  • lately
  • thanks to some wonderful help
  • sometimes we need help in life
  • and it's not a weakness
  • it's a strength
  • and some people that don't want to
  • well...
  • maybe they're weak?
  • but maybe not
  • i'm just not sure
  • plus, this is not a post about that kind of stuff EITHER
  • back to the lecture at hand
  • I love spring weather
  • and the fact that it was almost 70 degrees today
  • and the fact that I am a fighter
  • although today, well specifically tonight
  • I feel blue
  • until I take a sip of my ice cold spring water with lemon chunks
  • and realize my pizza's ready
bullet-pointed post idea in stream of consciousness, fragmented style was kind of, just a little bit, maybe just inspired by the lil bee

I did.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pebbles of thought.


I read the website
Post Secret rather religiously and always come away from it with a comforting yet eerie feeling. There's something wonderful about knowing that everyone has a secret of some sort. At the same time, I feel a bit chilly knowing some of the skeletons that others have harbored in their bones (pun intended) for long periods of time.

All of our minds are filled with thoughts, right? Some of them are meaningless and straight forward and they make sense and they help us do things like, "it's raining and I should bring my umbrella." I must admit I never have that thought because I never remember to buy an umbrella. Anyway, thoughts are like pebbles on the street that you can kick if you want to or choose to let them be where they are. Sometimes you want so much to kick one of them, set it free, get it moving, but just can't. That's why I love Post Secret. People who feel trapped by their one secret are able to kick it free, give it some legs. It then goes to live with a group of other secrets. Then we all get to read them and think, "wow, I kind of feel that way too and I'm not the only one."

I'm not alone is such a powerful realization in itself, isn't it? I think so.

My lovely therapist is ever reminding me that we all have strange and perhaps uncomfortable thoughts. These thoughts are gifts of being human; of being given a brain. It's okay to have these thoughts. But what can become difficult is knowing what to do with the ones that you can't shake and can't kick away. Where do they go? I'm in the middle of figuring this out with her so I can't provide the answer just yet. It eludes me at the moment.

I'm also beginning the action part of my sobriety program and preparing now for the step that involves writing down those tucked away pebbles of thought that have made me feel less than or have fostered a resentment or a deep fear. I've been putting this off for a very long time just because I'm afraid of it to begin with. But, come on, it's been almost 4 years. I need it, man!

Maybe after I write all this stuff down, I'll choose one of my confessions and send it to Post Secret. It can live with the other pebbles of thought that have been set free by someone who was honest and brave enough to kick it around a bit.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Forget you not.


Long Beach Island, NJ (my childhood summers)


I remember the day my father told me that she had passed. I was lying under the covers as he very sheepishly opened my bedroom door to share the news. I can’t remember if music was already playing in the background or if I turned on the stereo to soothe my grief, but somehow I was listening to “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan which spoke so deeply to the situation. The song is now forever linked to her.


I’m listening to Pandora Internet Radio while at work and “Angel” has popped up as the next song in the line-up of great tunes. I am instantly transported to my memory bank; to that day; to the shape of my Granna’s face and her long, strong fingers. I am wishing I could touch the hundreds of shells and pieces of beach glass she collected during her many years living next to the sea and ask her their names again. I am slightly smiling in embarrassment as I mentally replay the times she reprimanded because I walked on the dunes. I am remembering the days I watched her from our second floor deck as she walked gracefully along the sand in her rolled up linen pants, somehow knowing there was no place she'd rather be.

Forever my iconic great-grandmother, Granna.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We are fickle creatures.


We women have, if I am not to lie,
In this love matter, a quaint fantasy;
Look out a thing we may not lightly have,
And after that we'll cry all day and crave.
Forbid a thing, and that thing covet we;
Press hard upon us, then we turn and flee.
Sparingly offer we our goods, when fair;
Great crowds at market for dearer ware,
And what's too common brings but little price;
All this knows every woman who is wise.

~Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales", The Wife of Bath's Tale

Tis' a funny thing about most women: things forbidden to us often have aphrodisiac appeal.

picture by nirrimi